KSA Hires New Policy and Affairs Coordinator

Nicki Simpson the first to fill the position in six months
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor

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Simpson smiles for The Runner outside of Grassroots Cafe on Feb. 1, 2017. (Alyssa Laube)

After nearly six months with the position remaining vacant, the Kwantlen Student Association has hired a new policy and political affairs coordinator, Nicki Simpson. The last policy and political affairs coordinator left in August of 2016 after finding another job closer to home, and from August until January, nobody was hired to take his place.

“That’s the role that works most closely with me, and so it was sort of a lot of me picking up the slack,” says KSA President Alex McGowan about working without a policy and political affairs coordinator at his side. “We’re very excited to have [Simpson] on board and to have another person working in this very important area, especially as we approach the provincial election.”

Now, when a policy is proposed by a committee, it is Simpson’s job to act as a support, whether that means researching, editing, or writing the policy before it goes to the KSA council. The KSA chose to hire her because of her history with campaigning and government relations, as well as her understanding of what it’s like to be a student, and her identity as “someone who would fit in with the workplace culture that we have and someone who can learn and grow in the position.”

“It seemed like the kind of thing that I do anyways,” says Simpson. “I like doing research and a lot of the research to support campaign, and lobbying and working on rights for students.”

Aside from doing related assignments in school, Simpson has gained experience by working in Toronto for a professor on research and public engagement initiatives, interning at Amnesty International, and contributing to a campaign for the University of Victoria’s Green Party club.

Although she has only been hired for a few weeks, Simpson has already contributed to the KSA’s first sexual violence and misconduct policy, which was approved on Jan. 31. She is currently going over all of the KSA’s existing policies as well, including several on the website that are expired.

“I’m trying to decide which of the policies we would like to revisit or maybe expand upon. There are some shorter ones that I think will be very useful, especially if I’m here to help put some more research into it and get really well-developed policies,” says Simpson.

She cites turnover as the reason why several KSA policies have expired. Because the councillors that created them have since left student government—and there was no structure in-place to ensure that they were discussed before abandonment—they became irrelevant and unused. To prevent this from happening again, she is planning on designing a system for the KSA that will ensure that policies are not left to expire, but are either renewed or eliminated.

Simpson will also be involved in the KSA’s provincial election campaign, which will aim to get students to vote in May. While that may involve doing research and entering data, Simpson will mostly act as an organizer and volunteer.

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